Mercilon is a combined oral contraceptive pill (‘the Pill’). You take it to prevent pregnancy. This low-dose contraceptive contains two types of female sex hormones, oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones prevent an egg being released from your ovaries so you can’t get pregnant.
Mercilon also makes the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb.
Mercilon is a 21-day pill – you take one each day for 21 days, followed by 7 days when you take no pills.
The benefits of taking the Pill include:
• it is one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraception if used correctly
• it doesn’t interrupt sex
• it usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful
• it may help with pre-menstrual symptoms.
Mercilon will not protect you against sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia or HIV. Only condoms can help to do this.
Mercilon needs to be taken as directed to prevent pregnancy.
Uses / Instructions
To prevent pregnancy, always take this medicine exactly as described in this leaflet or as your doctor, family planning nurse or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor, family planning nurse or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Take Mercilon every day for 21 days.
Mercilon comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
• Take your pill at the same time every day.
• Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
• Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day, until you have
finished all 21 pills.
• Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary. Do not chew the pill.
Then have seven pill-free days.
After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no pills. So if you take the last pill of one pack on a Friday, you will take the first pill of your next pack on the Saturday of the following week.
Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal bleed like a period. This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills.
You don’t need to use extra contraception during these seven pill-free days – as long as you have taken your pills correctly and start the next strip of pills on time.
Then start your next strip
Start taking your next strip of Mercilon after the seven pill-free days – even if you are still bleeding. Always start the new strip on time.
As long as you take Mercilon correctly, you will always start each new strip on the same day of the week.
When should you contact your doctor?
Seek urgent medical attention
– if you notice possible signs of a blood clot that may mean you are suffering from a
blood clot in the leg (i.e. deep vein thrombosis), a blood clot in the lung (i.e.
pulmonary embolism), a heart attack or a stroke (see ‘Blood clots’ section below).
For a description of the symptoms of these serious side effects please go to “How to
recognise a blood clot”.
Tell your doctor if any of the following conditions apply to you.
If the condition develops, or gets worse while you are using Mercilon, you should also tell your doctor
If you have ever had problems with your heart, circulation or blood clotting.
• If you have diabetes.
• If you have ever had kidney or liver problems.
• If you have ever had severe depression.
• If you have ever had migraines.
See patient information leaflet for more details.
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
• Putting on weight;
• Breast problems, such as painful or tender breasts;
• Depression or mood changes;
• Stomach problems, such as nausea; abdominal pain;
See patient information leaflet for a full list of side effects.
The active substances are desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol. Each tablet contains: 150 micrograms of the progestogen desogestrel, and 20 micrograms of the oestrogen ethinyl estradiol.
The other ingredients are: dl-alpha-tocopherol, potato starch, povidone, stearic acid, aerosol and lactose.